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 Post subject: Hard disk service life
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:03 am 
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Several manufacturers define hard disk service life in number of load/unload cycles. Hitachi and Seagate specify service life for some of their current 2.5" hard disks to 600.000 load/unload cycles. One month ago, i installed Acronis Drive Monitor, available for free at acronis.com. It said that my three year old hard drive had 464 k load/unload cycles, this was equal to 35 load/unload cycles per power-on hour. The notebook runs Vista, and i had turned off SuperFetch. 464 k cycles within three years means, that the disk can be expected to reach end of life within another year. I suspected that the high load/unload frequency could have something to do with having SuperFetch disabled. So i enabled SuperFetch. The notebook has run 500 hours since. For these last 500 hours, the load/unload frequency has gone down to 14.2 cycles per power-on hour.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:58 am 
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yips ..... noticed that ALSO; however my curiosity from triggered via sourcing of new SSD drives & looking at prices from Seagate/WD ... of MAJOR MFG'rs of Platter drives which lead me to this article about MTBF from Seagate
I am usually not much influenced by 'lower price' and often choose QUAILITY. Thus the MTBF and or AFR is on uttermost importance for me. MTBF calculations done to a world-wide agreed standards and format of info is usually uniform layout. SO "Apples to Apples" comparision is much easier.

Other reasoning I use = the WARRANTY issued on NEW PRODUCT eg Seagate has some drives as 5 yrs and others at 3 yrs. NOTE - The YEARS = from DATE OF MANUFACTURE, and not from date of sale. - which is what had been the norm in the past!. In few of my past purchases from NEWEGG (from where I generally get most of my laptop items) I have RETURNED THOSE HARD DRIVES which were over 3 mths OLD!! and they always have agreed to give FULL REFUND and or negotiated a even LOWER PRICE if i wanted to keep those drives. So BEWARE the cheap cheap prices of 5 YR Warranty drives!
I also used the Acronis tool you talking about - for me its 'inconsistant' reading is not reliable - I used to use such tools that was in past avaliable from Hitachi but also no longer kept Up-to-Date - still in DOS format! however it does give consitant reading from ONE BOOT numbers to NEXT....Hitachi's Tools am told by their support pple is NO LONGER VALID and they dont even use it!!
For me the SSD RELIABILITY and or LACK OF is major issue. I had 3 SSD from intel jsut die - and one was so bad that I sent the whole Lenovo laptop (x220) back for full refund. Even lenovo depot repair pple seem to imply that they not sure they would want to use intel SSD for 'heavy' / industrial applications....so SSD = for me = not ready for HEAVY BUSINESS USE YET= only for 4-6mths per drive!!!

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:44 pm 
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I had a z61t with a seagate 100GB drive, which had 6.6 million load/unload cycles (rated for 600k). i would say a better indicator of whether your drive is going bad or not is the reallocated sector count.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:52 am 
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mariol90 wrote:
I had a z61t with a seagate 100GB drive, which had 6.6 million load/unload cycles (rated for 600k). i would say a better indicator of whether your drive is going bad or not is the reallocated sector count.


What App/ Tool/ Utility can give a good bearing of that?

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:03 am 
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I disable spin-downs on all of my drives. They never really stay spun down for more than a few seconds anyway.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 5:21 pm 
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crashnburn wrote:
What App/ Tool/ Utility can give a good bearing of that?

HD Tune's "Health" tab should tell you everything. it's free (there's also a paid version).

Colonel O'Neill wrote:
I disable spin-downs on all of my drives. They never really stay spun down for more than a few seconds anyway.


same here. this may be a problem for older drives that constantly park their heads while running (like the momentus 7200.1 drives) but I think any new-ish drive doesn't have that problem.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:11 pm 
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For a lot of the SMART parameters (not all) each manufacturer seems to assign different meanings. I had HD Tune telling me that my Fujitsu drive was bad because the RAW parameters did not have the "right" value while the normalized parameter was 100. The short story is that there is nothing wrong with my drive, and HD Tune simply does not know what some of the RAW parameters mean for a Fujitsu drive. I would be skeptical of some of these SMART values, try to find out what it actually means, and run a HD test utility made by the actual HD manufacturer.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 6:20 pm 
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I believe that's mainly a manufacturer's issue, since fujitsu doesn't (or didn't) do their power-on time count in hours while nearly every other hard drive manufacturer does.

from the drives i've used (maxtor/seagate/western digital/samsung/hitachi) they all use pretty much the same parameters. the "vendor-specific" ones are mainly the different ones.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:24 pm 
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One of the included tools with Speedfan (http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php) is the ability to read the S.M.A.R.T. status of your hard drive AND compare it online with other drives from the same manufacturer. This should give a general idea of the condition of the drive. As others have said, every manufacturer interprets the S.M.A.R.T. standards differently. I have used it for years on my desktops.

Merlin


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